Kim Chandler McDonald has navigated her way from a high-profile job in media and journalism, to being the co-founder and CEO of high tech firm Fl@World Integration. Their Fl@World platform is a data ecosystem technology that enables data from conflicting sources to work seamlessly together, with global compliance. Kim founded the company with her now husband Michael, due to their desire to solve the real world problem that, for businesses of every size and in every sector, issues around big data are escalating out of control. Fl@World reflects their commitment to enable digital and data transformation and empower people and organisations to thrive in the new world of business, by developing Tier One business solutions at Tier None cost and complexity levels.
For Kim, the move from journalism to tech had its challenges but also brought with it an abundance of opportunities. “The first challenge was that, along with deciding to get married, start a new company and create a technology that was so leading edge, it was ahead of the market for several years – we also decided to move to Australia, where Michael is from and where his family lives,” shared Kim. “The opportunity in that was, quite simply, Sydney! I wake up each morning still thrilled to be living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!”
“The second challenge was moving from a position of quite significant recognition and advantage, to a country where I knew no one, in what was already a saturated market. The opportunity embedded in having to adjust my career path was that it led me to begin writing my first blog (on innovation), which led to my first book and becoming an award-winning author of, Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World (2013) and Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy (2015),” she said. “Perhaps the two biggest differences between media and tech is that tech is far more male dominated and far less collaborative. I think that both of these issues have hindered true innovation of technology (rather than the use of technology) for decades. We’ve designed Fl@World Integration to be an extremely collaborative entity, however the industry as a whole is, traditionally, extremely siloed.”
Kim’s diverse work background has left her with lots of career highlights, ranging from interviewing the first female Secretary of State in America, Madeline Albright, to having representatives of global enterprises commend Fl@World as the perfect solution to their problem. When asked what her greatest lesson has been Kim is quite clear, “Regardless of what industry I’m working in, what never changes is the importance of a strong, supportive network – actively engaging in giving and receiving is priceless.”
Readers also enjoyed this story about an empowering leadership specialist.